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Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA No. 68520

Visas - Adopted Children, Returning Residents, UK Ancestry and Right of Abode

Adopted children

You, or your child, must show that he or she:

  • Cannot support themselves financially, is not married and is not living independently away from their parents
  • Is under 18 years of age
  • Was adopted when both parents lived together abroad or when one or the other parent was settled in the UK
  • Has the same rights as any other child of the adoptive parents
  • Was adopted because their birth parents could not care for them and there has been a full and genuine transfer of parental responsibility
  • Has broken all ties with their birth family, and
  • Was not adopted just to make it easier to enter the UK.

Returning residents

A returning resident is someone who has left the UK and has been given permission to come back again to live in the UK, with no time limit.

'Settled' means living in the UK legally with no time limit on your stay. You will qualify if:

  • You were settled in the UK when you last left
  • You have not been away for more than two years and you are coming back to live here permanently, and
  • You did not have help from public funds to leave the UK.

UK Ancestry

You will qualify if you can show that:

  • you are a Commonwealth citizen
  • you are aged 17 or over
  • you have a grandparent who was born in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man (see note below)
  • you have a grandparent who was born in what is now the Republic of Ireland before 31 March 1922 (see note below)
  • you are able to work and intend to do so in the UK, and
  • you can support yourself and any dependants, and live without needing any help from public funds

Right of Abode

You will have become a British citizen on 1 January 1983 (the date on which the British Nationality Act 1981 came into force) and so will have the right of abode in the UK if, immediately before that date, any of the following applied to you.

  • You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and had your citizenship by being born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the United Kingdom.
  • You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and your parent (see note below) was, at the time of your birth or legal adoption, a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies by being born, adopted, naturalised or registered in the United Kingdom.
  • You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and Colonies and your parent qualified for the right of abode under 2 above.
  • You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies at any time before 1 January 1983, and had been living in the UK for five years or more without a break.
  • During that period, you met all the terms of the immigration laws and, at the end of that period, you did not have any time limit on your stay.
  • You were a citizen of the United Kingdom and colonies and were then, or had previously been, the wife of a man with the right of abode in the United Kingdom.